Oct 25, 2021 - Nov 5, 2021

Levels: Advanced, Master,
Workshop Fee: $850
Class Size: 10 (max)

We will conduct this class live, online, on Zoom both as a group and for individual meetings.
Class meets Oct 25th, 27th, 29th, Nov 1st, 3rd & 5th

We will also be trying to do one-on-one sessions with the students during both weeks and that will need to be organized on a day by day basis. 


Class Introductions:
Each participant introduces themselves using 10 personal photographs of their family, home, and sense of place;

  • Each participant briefly describes their project and its scope and goals —showing 5 images from work
  • Each participant states their personal goals for the workshop.

Presentation: The Elements of Visual Storytelling: Organizing and Editing Long-term Projects – Sarah: 2 hours

  • In long-term project editing, a discipline is needed to sort images
  • Explaining the “bucketing” system
  • Moving from buckets to an edited set
  • Showing how those sets change depending on goal: magazine, personal website, book, etc.
  • Sequencing
  • Questions
  • Open class with an inspirational video
    • Interactive presentation: Final edit example – Bill-2 hours
    • State the goals of the sample story, show an edited set of 30 pictures
    • With class input, sort images
    • With class input, edit down to 12 images for a magazine story
    • Pace the final set with beginning, middle and end, discussing what works, what doesn’t

Class Exercise: Editing and pacing – Sarah-2 hours

  • In this session, Sarah will introduce a story she worked on at NatGeo. She will explain the story, the images and her goals.
    Sarah will show a “final tray;” an edit of the approximately 50 images from a magazine story she edited and prepared for presentation and layout.
  • We will show how that final set of images is printed out and used for sequencing and explain the advantages of working with paper printouts at this stage.

Individual Editing Exercise:

  • We will have already shared a PDF to the students of that final set of images, with instructions to print and trim for sequencing.
  • Students will work on their own to sort prints into their own buckets, then create a sequence with no more than 15 images. Prior to the next week of classes Bill and Sarah will have individual sessions to discuss their edits.


  • Editing and Pacing continued
  • Review: Students Present their edits/sequences of the NatGeo story.
    Discussions, Questions, etc. | 1 hour (depending on class size)
  • Individual Project Editing and Sequencing
    • Faculty will ask each student to share a description of their project with a title and one sentence. This becomes the storyline for their edit. Students will show up to 12 images from their body of work.
    • Individually, students will sort their own work into storytelling “buckets.”
    • Once bucketed, they will begin to sequence on their own.
    • They will review their edit and sequence with faculty during one-on-one sessions during the afternoon and into the next day.
  • At end of the day, faculty will schedule a group meeting for the class to reconvene and share a selection of edits and sequences for discussion and feedback and alternatives.
  • Individual Project Editing and Sequencing continued
  • Continue working on project edits individually, meeting faculty individually for review
  • At end of the day, faculty will schedule a group meeting for the class to reconvene and share a selection of edits and sequences for discussion and feedback and alternatives.
  • FINAL SHOW |  Will be flexible with this final day
    • Each student will present their final project edits to the rest of the class.
    • If possible, stories will be presented as page layouts: Opening spread with title, images sequenced singly or as pairs that build story line.
    • Instructor summaries. END.
  • After the class, faculty will assemble and refine the final presentations into a class zine, available to purchase at cost on Blurb.

**Students will need to be able to access Zoom and Lightroom is preferred but we can work with Photo Mechanic or Bridge.

**Since this is a project workshop this is for Advanced Amateurs or Pros. 

**Students will also need to make print outs at home of their projects and images we give them for class exercises. 

All Images Courtesy of Bill Marr & Sarah Leen

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Instructor: Sarah Leen

In 2013 Sarah Leen became the first female Director of Photography at National Geographic Partners. In late 2019 she founded the Visual Thinking Collective, a community for independent women photo editors, creative directors, teachers and curators dedicated to visual storytelling. For nearly 20 years she worked as a freelance photographer for the National Geographic magazine until 2004 when she joined the staff as a Senior Photo Editor. Leen currently works with individual photographers and agencies consulting and editing projects and books including the America, Again project by the VII Photo, the 2020 FotoEvidence and World Press Photo Book Award winner HABIBI by Antonio Faccilongo and Anders Wo by Petra Barth. Leen mentors individual photographers and teaches photography and photo editing workshops at the Missouri Photo Workshops, Maine Media Workshops, the Eddie Adams Workshop, Santa Fe Photo Workshops, and at the PhotoLux Festival in Lucca, Italy. 

Instructor: Bill Marr

William Marr’s 40-year photography career reflects a dedication to visual content and its presentation in newspapers, books, exhibits, and magazines. His path has taken him from the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked in the 1980s, to National Geographic magazine, where as Creative Director for ten years he led the magazine’s transition into the digital space with an award-winning iPad app. Most recently, Bill served as Director of Photography for The Nature Conservancy. As freelance editor and designer, he has created annual reports, corporate collateral, books, and photo exhibits.